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4th Annual Wood Carvers Roundup June 12-15, Evart, MI

by Sandy Holder

The Wood Carvers Roundup
is nothing new to many woodcarvers, but for the fourth year in a row over 500 people armed with extremely sharp knives once again took over the Osceola 4H/FFA Fairgrounds in Evart. At least 163 of them moved in for the week in their campers, but others just came in each morning and stayed till well after dark to learn the finer point of woodcarving. Carvers came from as far away as Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and neighboring states as well as Canada. Over 40 different carving clubs were also represented.

Woodcarver's Quilt made 5.5" x 5.5" blocks sold at last year's Roundup. Sixty-eight are on display here, with sixty block still waiting to be returned.


The first year we only filled one building, but this year we needed to expanded to the use of three buildings and 2 barns as well as an open pavilion. Our Roundup is based exclusively on volunteers who willingly offer workshops in carving techniques, hand and airbrush painting, tool sharpening, chip carving, wood burning, soap carving, power carving, and chainsaw sculpture. We especially like to introduce new carvers to the exciting world of shaping wood with sharp tools. We even have workshops for the non-carver in the family (sometimes they even end up catching "carvinitis").

Wednesday Class Sessions


Here at the Roundup we all help each other by exchanging ideas and methods and styles of carving. This year we welcomed over 35 volunteer workshop leaders in many areas including cedar fan carving, which was new here this year. We appreciate everyone willing to share a little of their time and talents and could always use more workshop leaders.

Some workshop leaders you may be familiar with were Rod Beamish, Floyd Rhadigan, Rod Walker, Jack Miller, Dick Conner, Willy & Diane McDonald, Andy Luckhardt, John & Laura Putnam Dunkle, Joe Wojciechowski, Fritz Poland, Virginia Huffman, Norm Kandow, Sally Nye, Dayle Lewis and Bill Jaquays. We only wish space would permit noting everyone involved.

Thursday Class Seesions

In the background above the door are two of the six club plaques in the Roundup Club Gallery


Workshops are offered every day from 9am to around 5pm and are given at the times the leaders choose. Folks do not sign up for most classes, they just show up at the time and place listed on the daily schedules which are posted each night and written up as the leaders arrive. We function on a "kick-back-and-enjoy" type of atmosphere with a very loose and relaxed schedule that most people find to their liking. When you are finished in one workshop you may just move on to another one, giving yourself a chance to try out a different type of carving you may have never attempted before. Many unscheduled evening workshops often materialize. The workshops are free but there may be a cost for the blanks or workshop supplies.

Saturday Class Sessions


Leather Plus Carving Supplies provided everyone with an opportunity to purchase the supplies and books needed and to try out various tools before buying. Some of the workshop leaders also had carving supplies to choose from. Mike and Paul Thomas again brought hundreds of different carving blanks for purchase by attendees.

We are well supported by the area businesses with breakfast and lunch provided by the local Lions Club. The Evart Chamber of Commerce welcomed us one morning with a complimentary continental breakfast, and we also have a potluck one evening and hobo stew over the campfire on Saturday. Roundup musicians entertained us a couple of evenings and the Evart DDA offered free downtown concerts other nights.

Chainsaw carvings of the Roundup logo

by Dayle Lewis of Richmond IN,


Plan to join us next June 11-14, 2003 for our 5th Wood Carvers Roundup. For more information you may call 231-734-5125 or 231-734-9131. Of course you can also access all the information by surfing over to www.woodcarversroundup.com. You know "We're just a bunch of cutups!" We'll leave the campfire on for ya!! Also join us for our "Spit & Whittle" weekend of social carving, same place Sept 13-15, 2002, come join us.